Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida hung up on Obama and Rohm Emmanuel Twice. Ros-Lehtinen claims she thought she was being punked just like Sarah Palin was several weeks ago.
When President-elect Barack Obama called Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen at her South Florida district office Wednesday, she hung up on him.
'I thought: `Why would Obama want to call a little slug on the planet like me?' '' Ros-Lehtinen said.
A short time later, Rahm Emanuel, Obama's designated chief of staff, called. Ros-Lehtinen hung up on him, too.
''I thought it was one of the radio stations in South Florida playing an incredible, elaborate, terrific prank on me,'' Ros-Lehtinen said. ``They got Fidel Castro to go along. They've gotten Hugo Chavez and others to fall for their tricks. I said, 'Oh, no, I won't be punked'.''
Ros-Lehtinen was in Miami when she received Obama's first call about 1 p.m. on her cell phone from a Chicago-based number. The person on the line told Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican, that the President-Elect would like to speak to her.
A man, who Ros-Lehtinen said sounded like Obama, got on the line and congratulated her on her reelection and said he was looking forward to working with her as the ranking Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs committee.
The conversation lasted just a minute when Ros-Lehtinen cut Obama off, telling him she wasn't falling for the hoax and that he was a better impersonator than the guy on Saturday Night Live.
Then Emanuel called, and she hung up on him. It finally took Rep. Howard Berman, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, to persuade Ros-Lehtinen that the president-elect indeed wanted to talk to her.
''I asked Howard to tell me a private joke we share about colleagues in the House to make sure it really was him,'' Ros-Lehtinen said. ``When he did, I realized it was the real deal.''
Ros-Lehtinen said she then told Berman: ``I know this sounds very presumptuous, but please tell President-elect Obama he can call me now and I will take his call.''
Obama called back, and Ros-Lehtinen said she told him she ''wasn't playing hard to get,'' but thought it was a joke like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin getting the call from someone pretending to be French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
This would be the second time in two days the people of Florida got punked. What is it about Conservative Republican women and the fear of getting punked.
Marc Ambinder is reporting that Jeb Bush is considering a run for the Senate to replace the retiring Mel Martinez:
Two sources close to Jeb Bush, including one who has spoken to the former Florida governor within the past few hours, say he is seriously considering a run for Senate now that incumbent Republican Mel Martinez has retired.
"He is receiving a lot of encouragement from both in and out of the state," an longtime Bush adviser said tonight. "He is going to take his time and approach this very methodically." Bush will weigh, according to this adviser, how a run would impact his family, his business, and whether the Senate would be the best platform for the causes he'd advocate -- education, immigration, GOP solutions to health care and energy.
Bush did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
If he decides to run, Republicans expect the field to clear for him. Maybe. Gov. Charlie Crist, with whom Bush has not had the warmest of relations, is said to be interested in moving to the Senate. Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is weighing a bid, as is former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, Orange County executive Richard Crotty, and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack.
Via ThinkProgress, in an interview with NewsMax, President Bush's brother Jeb says the Republican party should not cave to a Democratic majority. Rather, they should set up a "shadow government" to provide a counter-agenda.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tells Newsmax that the GOP must broaden its appeal to avoid becoming "the old white-guy party," and recommends that Republicans create a "shadow government" to engage Democrats on important issues as the incoming Obama administration seeks to enact its agenda.
In a wide-ranging interview with Newsmax, the popular former governor and younger brother of President George W. Bush said the 2008 election was neither "transformational" nor a landslide. For example, he noted that Barack Obama's significant fundraising advantage over John McCain played a key role in Democratic success this year.
Bush urged Republicans not to abandon their core conservative principles in favor of a "Democratic-lite" agenda. Still, the GOP does need to do some real soul-searching, he said.